Monday, February 20, 2012

First Day of Work

I went to work in Sydney for the first time today.  The school is The University of Technology Sydney, or UTS.  It was 3 stops on the train and then about about a 10 minute walk. Well, it was a 10 minute walk and 10 minutes wandering around lost.  I was sweating when I got to school because of the humidity.  Last night there was a rainstorm, complete with huge lightning and window-rattling thunder.  So this morning it was very humid, even though the sun was shining bright.

I have a nice office furnished with everything I need.  I met with the head of the school, a professor that I will collaborate with, and a PhD student that I will work with.  Everyone was very nice and welcoming. Two things at the school struck me as a bit unusual.  First, at every major intersection in the hallways, or about every 10 offices, there is a security door.  To get through the door you need an 8 digit code.  But entering the code is tricky, because although the keypad is like a telephone keypad, the numbers appear every time in a random order.  That keeps someone from watching your hand and learning your number.  The other interesting thing was the new $7,000 coffee machine.  It makes good coffee, but it is hard for me to imagine putting in that request at Chapman.  "Hi, this is Bruce over in the Argyros School.  We are going to order a $7,000 Swiss coffee machine, and I am just wondering which account to charge it to?"

I need to finish a paper I am working on, so it is great that I don't really know anyone at work.  Today I got a lot done even though I arrived late and left a little early so I could stop and pick up a SIM card for Misa's phone.  I cut the wandering around lost to 5 minutes getting back to the train station, but it was worth it because I found Chinatown and a cool market.

Katka and Misa did Misa's homeschooling and some shopping today.  Every time I think we have everything we need we remember something else we have to buy.  Time to start getting ready for bed, tomorrow is another hard day at work.